The Margarita was safe indeed but was so crazed a ship! The San Sebastian, too, was in bad case. Hispaniola truly, but some leagues from San Domingo, and a small, desert, lonely bay! We rested here because rest we must, and mended our ships. Days—three days—a week. The Admiral and the Adelantado kept our people close to the ships. There was no Indian village, but a party sent to gather fruit found two Indians biding, watching from a thicket. These, brought to the Admiral, proved to be from a village between us and San Domingo. They had been in that town after the hurricane. It had uprooted the great tree before the Governor’s house and thrown down a part of the church.
“Had the fleet sailed?”
Yes, it seemed. The day before the storm. But these men knew nothing of its fortunes. He kept the Indians with us until we sailed, so as not to spread news of where we were, then gave them presents and let them go.
But on the day we set to sail we did not sail, for along the coast and into our bay came a small caravel, going with men to our fort in Xaragua. The captain—Ruy Lopez it was—met us as a wonder, San Domingo having held that the hurricane must have sunk us, the sea swallowed us up. He anchored, took his boat and came to the Admiral upon the Consolacion.
“Senor, I am glad to see you living!”
“Yes, I live, senor. Are you well in San Domingo?”
“Well in body, but sick at heart because of the fleet.”
“Because of the fleet?”
“The fleet, senor, was a day away when the hurricane burst. Half the ships were split, lost, sunken! The others, broken, returned to us. One only went on to Spain. The gold ships are lost. Only, they say, the gold that pertains to you, goes on safely on that one to Cadiz. Gwarionex the Indian is drowned, and Bobadilla and Roldan are drowned.”
THE Indians called it Guanaja, but the Admiral, the Isle of Pines. It was far, far, from Hispaniola, far, far, from Jamaica, over a wide and stormy sea, reached after many days of horrible weather. Guanaja, small, lofty, covered with rich trees among which stood in numbers the pines we loved because they talked of home. To the south, far
off, across leagues of water, we made out land. Mainland it seemed to us, stretching across the south, losing itself in the eastern haze. The weather suddenly became blissful. We had sweet rest in Guanaja.
A few Indians lived upon this small island, like, yet in some ways unlike all those we knew. But they were rude and simple and they talked always of gods to the west. We had rested a week when there came a true wonder to us from the west.
That was a canoe, of the mightiest length we had yet seen, long as a tall tree, eight feet wide, no less, with twenty-five rowing Indians—tall, light bronze men—with cotton cloth about their loins. Middle of this giant canoe was built a hut or arbor, thatched with palm. Under this sat a splendid barbarian, tall and strong, with a crown of feathers and a short skirt and mantle of cotton. Beside him sat two women wrapped in cotton mantles,
and at their feet two boys and a young maid. All these people wore golden ornaments about their necks.
It was in a kind of amaze that we watched this dragon among canoes draw near to and pass the ships and to the shore where we had built a hut for the Admiral and the Adelantado and the youth Fernando, and to shelter the rest of us a manner of long booth. It seemed that it was upon a considerable voyage, and wanting water, put in here. The Guanaja Indians cried, “Yucatan! Yucatan!”
The Admiral stepped down to meet these strangers. His face glowed. Here at last was difference beyond the difference of the Paria folk!
We found that they were armed,—the newcomers. Strangely made swords of wood and flint, lances, light bucklers and hatchets of true copper. They were strong and fearless, and they seemed to say, “Here before us is great wonder, but wonder does not subdue our minds!”
Their language had, it is true, the flow and clink of Indian tongues, yet was greatly different. We had work to understand. But they were past masters of gesture.
The Admiral sent for presents. Again, these did not ravish, though the cacique and his family and the rowers regarded with interest such strange matters. But they seemed to say, “You yourselves and your fantastic high canoes made, it is evident, of many trees, are the wonder!”
But we, the Spaniards, searching now through ten years—long as the War of Troy—for Asia in which that Troy and all wealth beside had been placed, thought that at last we had come upon traces. In that canoe were many articles of copper, well enough wrought; a great copper bell, a mortar and pestle, hatchets and knives. Moreover in Yucatan were potters! In place of the eternal calabash here were jars and bowls of baked clay, well-made, well-shaped, marked with strange painted figures. They had pieces of cotton cloth, 佛山夜生活好玩的地方 well-woven and great as a sail. Surely, with this stuff, before long the notion of a sail would arise in these minds! We saw cotton mantles and other articles of dress, both white and gayly dyed or figured. Clothing was not to them the brute amaze we had found it with our eastern Indians. Matters enough, strange to our experience, were being carried in that great canoe. We found they had a bread, not cassava, but made from maize, and a drink much like English ale, and also a food called cacao.
Gold! All of them wore gold, disks of it, hanging upon their breasts. The cacique had a thin band of gold across his forehead; together with a fillet of cotton it held the bright feathers of his head dress.
They traded the gold—all except the coronal and a sunlike plate upon the breast of the cacique—willingly enough.
Whence? 佛山洗浴按摩论坛 Whence?
It seemed from Yucatan, on some embassy to another coast or island. Yucatan. West—west! And beyond Yucatan richer still; oh, great riches, gold and clothing and—we thought it from their contemptuous signs toward our booths and their fingers drawn in the air—true houses and temples.
Farther on—farther on—farther west! Forever that haunting, deluding cry—the cry that had deluded since Guanahani that we called San Salvador. Now many of our adventurers and mariners caught fire from that cacique’s wide gestures. The Adelantado no less. “Cristoforo, it looks satisfaction at last!” And the young Fernando,—”Father, let us sail west!”
The Admiral was trying to come at that Strait. Earnestly, through Juan Lepe and through a Jamaican that we had with us, he strove to give and take light. Yucatan? Was there sea beyond Yucatan? Did 佛山桑拿网论坛 sea like a river cut Yucatan? Might a canoe—might canoes like ours—go by it from this sea to that sea?
But nothing did we get save that Yucatan was a great country with sea here and sea there. “A point of the main like Cuba!” said the Admiral. Behind it, to the north of it, it seemed to us, the greater country where were the gold, the rich clothing, the temples. But we made out that Yucatan from sea to sea was many days’ march. And as for the country beyond it, that went on, they thought, forever. They called this country Anahuac and they meant the same that years afterward Hernando Cortes found. But we did not know this. We did not know that strange people and their great treasure.
The Admiral looked out to sea. “I have cried, ‘West—west—west!’ through a-many years! Yucatan! But I make out no sea-passage thence into Vasco 佛山夜生活无忧 da Gama’s India! And I am sworn to the Queen and King Ferdinand this time to find it. So it’s south, it’s south, brother and son!”
So, our casks being full, our fruit gathered, the sky clear and the wind fair, we left the west to others and sailed to find the strait in the south. When we raised our sails that dragon canoe cried out and marveled. But the cacique with the coronal asked intelligent questions. The Admiral showed him the way of it, mast and spar and sail cloth, and how we made the wind our rower. He listened, and at the last he gave Christopherus Columbus for that instruction the gold disk from his breast. I do not know—Yucatan might have gone on from that and itself developed true ship. If it had long enough time! But Europe was at its doors.
The canoe kept with us for a little, then shouted to see the fair 佛山桑拿报告 breeze fill our sails and carry us from them.
It was mid-August. We came to a low-lying land with hills behind. Here we touched and found Indians, though none such as Yucatan seemed to breed. It was Sunday and under great trees we had mass, having with us the Franciscan Pedro of Valencia. From this place we coasted three days, when again we landed. Here the Indians were of a savage aspect, painted with black and white and yellow and uttering loud cries. We thought that they were eaters of men’s flesh. Likewise they had a custom of wearing earrings of great weight, some of copper, some of that mixed gold we called guanin. So heavy were these ornaments that they pulled the ear down to mid-throat. The Admiral named this place the Coast of the Ear.
On we sailed, and on, never out of sight of land to starboard. Day by day, along a 佛山桑拿按摩技师网 coast that now as a whole bent eastward. And yet no strait—no way through into the sea into which poured the Ganges.
THE weather plagued us. The rains were cataracts, the lightning blinding, the thunder loud enough to wake the dead. Day after day, until this weather grew to seem a veritable Will, a Demon with a grudge against us.
The Margarita sailed no better; she sailed worse. The Admiral considered abandoning her, taking the Adelantado upon the Consolacion and dividing his crew among the three ships. But the Adelantado’s pride and obstinacy and seamanship were against that. “I’ll sail her, because San Domingo thinks I can!”
Stormy days and nights, and the Admiral watching. “The Margarita! Ho, look out! Do you see the Margarita?”
In the midst of foul weather came foully back the gout that crippled him. I would have had him stay in his bed. “I cannot! How do you think I can?” In the end he had us build him some kind of shelter upon deck, fastening there a bench and laying a pallet upon this. Here, propped against the wood, covered with cloaks, he still watched the sea and how went our ship and the other ships.
Day after day and day after day! Creeping eastward along a bad shore, in the teeth of the demon. The seas, the winds, the enormous rain wore us out. Men grew large-eyed. If we slept came a shriek and wakened us. We would put to land, but the wind turned and thrust us out again, or we found no harbor. We seemed to be fixed in one place while time rushed by us.
Forecastle began to say, “It is enchantment!” Presently poop echoed it. The boy Fernando brought it to his father. “Alonso de Zamorra and Bernardo the Apothecary say that demons and witches are against us.”
“The Prince of the Power of the Air!” said the Admiral. “It may be, child! Paynimry against Christianity. We had a touch of the same quality once off Cuba. But is it, or is it not, Christian men shall win! And send me Bartholomew Fiesco. Such talk is injury. It bores men’s courage worse than the teredo a ship’s bottom!”
We thought the foul weather would never cease, and our toil would never cease—then lo! at the point of despair the sky cleared with a great clap of light, the coast turned sharply, sheerly south—he named the great cape, Cape Gracias a Dios—and we ran freely, West again.
Coming in three days to a wide river mouth, in we turned. The shore was grown with reeds that would do for giants’ staffs. On mud banks we saw the crocodile, “cayman” they call it. Again the sky hung a low, gray roof; a thin wind whistled, but for all that it was deathly hot. Seeing no men, we sent two boats with Diego Mendez up the stream. They were not gone a half league, when, watching from the Consolacion we marked a strange and horrid thing. There came without wind a swelling of the sea. Our ships tossed as in tempest, and there entered the river a wall of sea water. Meeting the outward passing current, there ensued a fury with whirlpools. It caught the boats. Diego Mendez saved his, but the other was seized, tossed and engulfed. Eight men drowned.